Browse Prior Art Database

Liquid Crystal Optical Switch

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000050089D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-10
Document File: 2 page(s) / 31K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Snedaker, MC: AUTHOR

Abstract

A liquid crystal embedded in a suitable material that allows bonding to fiber optic strands and provides electrical isolation of the contacts on a liquid crystal is used to provide a switch for a single optical input to one or the other of two optical outputs, with no mechanical components.

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Liquid Crystal Optical Switch

A liquid crystal embedded in a suitable material that allows bonding to fiber optic strands and provides electrical isolation of the contacts on a liquid crystal is used to provide a switch for a single optical input to one or the other of two optical outputs, with no mechanical components.

As shown in the drawing, a liquid crystal 1 is provided with suitable electrodes 3 and appropriate electrical connections to terminals 5 and 7. The characteristics of such crystals are that when voltage is impressed across the electrodes 3 by application of a potential between terminals 5 and 7, the crystal structure is rendered transparent, and when the potential across the liquid crystal face is removed, the face of the crystal becomes reflective. The crystal is mounted within a solid structure 9 which may be of any suitable material, such as a suitable plastic, which is capable of providing bonds indicated by the fillets 11 for a plurality of fiber optic strands.

A first strand 13 is the optical input to the unit, a second strand 15 is a first optical output, and a third strand 17 is the second optical output.

Light transmitted to the unit by the input fiber optic strand 13 will either be reflected to the output strand 15 or transmitted to the strand 17, depending on the state of energization of the crystal electrodes.

This arrangement provides a solid-state optical relay with no moving parts to wear out or become misadjusted and with bonded op...